Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Ashfall by Mike Mullin

Series: Ashfall (bk. 1)

Genera: Sci-fi, dystopian

Subjects: Volcanic ash, climate change, survival, love

Length: 456 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

Summary/ product description: “Under the bubbling hot springs and geysers of Yellowstone National Park is a supervolcano. Most people don't know it's there. The caldera is so large that it can only be seen from a plane or satellite. It just could be overdue for an eruption, which would change the landscape and climate of our planet. Ashfall is the story of Alex, a teenage boy left alone for the weekend while his parents visit relatives. When the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts unexpectedly, Alex is determined to reach his parents. He must travel over a hundred miles in a landscape transformed by a foot of ash and the destruction of every modern convenience that he has ever known, and through a new world in which disaster has brought out both the best and worst in people desperate for food, water, and warmth. With a combination of nonstop action, a little romance, and very real science, this is a story that is difficult to stop reading and even more difficult to forget.”

My Rating: ê ê ê ê

My Review: The books started out well, but became slow once Alex set out on his journey. Mostly because the lack of dialog and the diary-like narration. It was always about was he ate, where he slept, what he saw…and it got interesting when he met people. Later on when Darla comes in it’s more exciting. Also, this story is pretty gruesome in parts. It talks a lot about bathroom needs and bunny killing…I was pretty grossed out a few times. This is not really a kids book, I’ll tell you that. The survival stuff is pretty interesting. I love Alex’s alternative way of travel: cross country skis. Who knew they’d be more use that a car during an ashfall? Obviously the author did. He’s pretty clever.

A bit about the setting. Cedar Falls, Iowa is by Waterloo. Yes, it is real and it is over 100 miles from Galena. Wow, what a long trek! But Warren, Illinois, seriously? There is no Warren, IL (just Warren, MI) I live in Warrenville, IL, and that's right near Naperville, not the Wisconsin boarder or Galena. It was kind of freaky to see Warren, Illinois and keep thinking Warrenville. If this ever happens for real, then at least I’ll know that’s it’s gonna be worse a state over. That’s another thing. This book is scarily realistic. Now I’m gonna be all paranoid about the super volcano. (And I’m already paranoid about nuclear explosions and the nuclear power plant that’s like 60 miles away. More things to be afraid of).

Let’s just say I enjoyed this book in the hanging-on-to-the-edge-of-my-seat-with-fear sort of way. (Kind of like Life As We Knew It, but that was about the moon, not a volcano). The book is worth a read if you’re into the post-apocalyptic genera. And sorry, no zombies. Lol.

Cover Art Review: When I fist saw it I thought it was a kid’s book and not YA. It looks like a painting, and the boys face in the mirror looks very young. But the new, real cover, it’s pretty well done, though. Lots of ash.
old cover:

~Haley G

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